Puzzling Stories

Puzzling Stories

The Aesthetic Appeal of Cognitive Challenge in Film, Television and Literature


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Many films and novels defy our ability to make sense of the plot. While puzzling storytelling, strange incongruities, inviting enigmas and persistent ambiguities have been central to the effects of many literary and cinematic traditions, a great deal of contemporary films and television series bring such qualities to the mainstream—but wherein lies the attractiveness of perplexing works of fiction? This collected volume offers the first comprehensive, multidisciplinary, and trans-medial approach to the question of cognitive challenge in narrative art, bringing together psychological, philosophical, formal-historical, and empirical perspectives from leading scholars across these fields.